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Rajiv Singha

Watch Out for these Online Scams of Christmas!

December 23, 2014
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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It’s again that time of the year when people revel in Christmas celebration and merrymaking of yet another new year. And it’s the most wonderful time of the year for scammers, as they prep to deliver their holiday presents – malware attacks and online scams. So, if you are surfing the Internet for presents, gifts or tickets for the holidays, here are some of the common online scams of Christmas you got to watch out for.

Watch Out for these Online Scams of Christmas!

Online Shopping Scams of Christmas
You might come across a lot of sites throwing huge discounts and offers for Christmas. It is safe to assume that most of these sites might be bogus, and are advertising fake products. What should you do?

1. Only trust popular online websites.
2. Do some research on the seller.
3. Check the privacy, security, and return policy of the site.
4. Ensure that the site is secure.
More tips here…

Fake Christmas Holiday Deals
This time of the year, online scammers come up with fake sites that display advertisements about cheap holiday deals. Most people even receive emails and calls about such deals. What should you do?

1. Again, only trust official travel sites that you have been using since long.
2. Run a Google search and verify if the deal is real or a fake.
3. Never give away your personal information on emails or calls.

Charity Scams of Christmas
One of the obvious online frauds of Christmas are phishing emails about charity. Using Christmas as their bait, online fraudsters shoot emails that seem to have come from charitable organizations. With emotional appeals of helping the needy, these scammers try to lure people into making charitable donations. What should you do?

1. Verify the name of the organization, its registered office, and who runs it.
2. Never respond to emails, calls, or on websites that urge you to donate for charity.
3. If you are unsure about a charitable organization, Google it, or ask you friends or family.

Phishing Christmas Scams
It is most likely that you will receive emails from unknown, known but unexpected sources claiming that you have won a Christmas gift, you need to upgrade your account, or your loved one has sent you a gift card, etc. These emails might also ask you to download an attachment or to click a link to proceed further. What should you do?

1. Never act on such emails, even if they seem to have come from a well-known organization or someone you know.
2. Be extra cautious of such emails when they talk about free gifts and money, and urge you to download attachments or click links.
3. Report such emails as phishing or spam, or trash them immediately.
4. If you still feel that the email might be somewhat genuine, do not reply but call up the sender and verify.

Fake Christmas Ticket Scams
We all love free tickets to musical events, theaters, talent shows, sports, etc. And piggybacking on this love of ours, scammers lure people into paying for invalid tickets via fake websites or emails. What should you do?

1. Be it any event, always visit its official website to purchase the tickets.
2. If you are using a third party site, ensure that it is popular and well-known.
3. Google the event; if it is real, then you will be able to find some news about it.
4. Do not buy tickets by clicking links on emails, or on calls.

Scams of Christmas E-Cards
It always feels nice to send and receive holiday e-cards. At this time of the year, hackers and scammers send emails to people with e-cards that carry spyware, Trojan, worm, and other malicious codes. What should you do?

1. Do not click or view e-cards sent to you by an unknown email id.
2. Even if an e-card seems to have come from a friend or a co-worker, it is always safe to call them up andverify.
3. If you feel something is strange or weird about a card, do not proceed.

Social Media Scams of Christmas
As you exchange season greetings on FB, Twitter and other social media networks, you might come across posts about free Christmas apps or gifts. There might be posts having links of shocking videos on Christmas. What should you do?

1. Avoid such posts that need you to click on links and visit another website.
2. Be wary of social media posts that ask for donation for charity.
3. Avoid posts that claim to show “Shocking video posts”. These are usually fake and malicious.

To conclude, have a reliable Internet Security program for your PC that can block phishing and infected websites, and block phishing emails. And that would be all for the common online Christmas scams and ways to deal with them. Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and Splendid New year! Stay Safe.

Sources:
http://letstalk.globalservices.bt.com/en/security/2014/12/12-frauds-christmas/
http://www.scambusters.org/christmas.html

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Rajiv Singha
About Rajiv Singha
Rajiv is an IT security news junkie and a computer security blogger at Quick Heal. He is passionate about promoting cybersecurity awareness, content and digital...
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55 Comments

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  1. Happy Christmas day

    Reply
  2. best quik hill my quike hill

    Reply
  3. Deepak WadhwanaDecember 24, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    Why don’t you give name of that site which is not be used.

    Reply
    • Hi Deepak,

      The number of fake and fraudulent sites are in 1000s, hence listing each and every one of them is practically not feasible. However, following these safety tips, and applying commonsense before visiting such sites, are the best precautionary measures one can take.

      Regards,

      Reply
  4. Thanks for the warning .

    Reply
  5. madhukar amarnathDecember 24, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    good job by guardian antivirous team thanks

    Reply
  6. madhukar amarnathDecember 24, 2014 at 6:42 PM

    good job

    Reply
  7. Thank you for alerting us

    Reply
  8. THANK YOU FOR ALERING US.

    Reply
  9. Swapnil Gaidhani , LakhaniDecember 24, 2014 at 7:33 PM

    Dear Sir,
    Thanks for sending such important message .
    Prevention is better than cure .

    Reply
  10. Happy Christmas

    Reply
  11. mansa rajpurohitDecember 24, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    happy christmas day make new life every moments all the wish of christmas fulfill enjoy the christmas celebration ,jesus send to gifts of urs lifes

    Reply
  12. gurmeet singh marwahDecember 24, 2014 at 8:33 PM

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to all

    Reply
  13. It’s hilpful for us, thank you.

    Reply
  14. LOVENEET SAINIDecember 24, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Happy Christmas day…………TO ALL………..

    Reply
  15. Quickheal is the best…

    Reply
  16. sandeep patilDecember 24, 2014 at 10:12 PM

    Happy Christmas day

    Reply
  17. happy christmas

    Reply
  18. Very nice & important tips. Thanks….

    Reply
  19. Thanks for Sharing …. Merry Christmas♡♡.

    Reply
  20. Sreeniivasa Rao KeesariDecember 25, 2014 at 5:39 AM

    HI GOOD MORNING, WISH U A HAPPY ”X-MAS”. HAVE A NICE DAY.

    Reply
  21. Harbans Singh TutejaDecember 25, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    I am getting frequently such mails like free tickets of cinema show, lucky prizes, etc. but I find no such thing had happened from my side or asked for that. Sometimes I get lured for points on purchases, etc. I am thankful for having alerted me.

    Reply
  22. akhilendra kumar choubeyDecember 25, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    happy christmas day all quck heal maker and aii staf.

    Reply
  23. Merry CHristmas all of friend

    Reply
  24. merry christmas

    Reply
  25. Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  26. king abhijeet sahaDecember 25, 2014 at 4:49 PM

    Happy Christmas day

    Reply
  27. Happy Christmas

    Reply
  28. happy christmas day

    Reply
  29. happy christmas

    Reply
  30. Somnath GavaliDecember 26, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Best quikil

    Reply
  31. Amit K TripathiDecember 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Thank you for your valuable info.

    Happy Christmas and new year 2015.

    With regards,

    Reply
  32. vvvv good and nice

    Reply
  33. infinity solutionDecember 26, 2014 at 2:50 PM

    Happy Christmas and happy new year 2015 in advance.

    Reply
  34. s karthikayanDecember 26, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Reply
  35. quick heal security simplified the problem of computers and during this happiness happy Christmas and new year 2015

    Reply
  36. RAJ RAJENDRADecember 26, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    HAPPY CHRISTMAS

    Reply
  37. yogesh agarwalDecember 26, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    happy

    Reply
  38. Manikandan A SDecember 26, 2014 at 9:33 PM

    Hi I liked quickreal security.

    Reply
  39. satish nayakDecember 27, 2014 at 7:39 AM

    happy christmas and new year

    Reply
  40. Ahmed Raza ShekhDecember 27, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    good antivirus

    Reply
  41. i wish your service as like as it is.my best wishes to the producer,maintainer and all other labours for their initiative as.wish & bless.

    Reply
  42. Monoj MohantyDecember 28, 2014 at 3:00 PM

    Just great way of keeping us alert. Have a joyous Christmas & a Blessed New Year – 2015.

    Reply
  43. Abhijeet Khan RishuDecember 28, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Merry christmas to all my dear and near ones

    Reply
  44. Shahebaj KadriDecember 28, 2014 at 8:32 PM

    happy

    Reply
  45. Sanjay SinhaDecember 29, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Thanks Rajib for yours great information about these Christmas scams and a merry Christmas and very prosperous new year to you from me and my whole family.
    May God Bless You and Your Family Forever.

    Reply
  46. GAUTAM CHAUHANDecember 29, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    dear quickheal antivirus
    mera spice Mi-449 androide mobile to iss antivirus se lock ho gaya h please call and reset my mobile urgent 9461339924

    Reply
    • Hi Gautam,

      Can you please give some more details about how your smartphone has got locked by Quick Heal? That will help us provide you with a solution faster. Alternatively, you can also call our support center on 0-927-22-33-000 for assistance. Apologies for the inconvenience.

      Best regards.

      Reply
  47. happy Christmas to my guardian

    Reply
  48. Kaustubh KulkarniDecember 29, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    Great!I will tell all my friends and family members to read this and stay secure.

    Reply
  49. Very much informative…thanku quick heal

    Reply
  50. I got a call on 30th dec regarding a prize won by me from 2dayshopping.com …they asked me to shop for rs. 1999 to be a memberof their website and to claim prize.i believed in that cuz they related it to a shopping deal by me on another shopping website i.e. home shop 18 …. i paid1999 via visa card but now there is no msg regarding the watch and about the prize won….and when i called home shop 18 customer care they are saying they have not shared any such detail to any other shopping website…… new year is no more happy for me now

    Reply
    • Hi Dipika,

      We are sorry to hear about your experience. You must contact your bank and see how they can help you out here. In the future, please be more aware and careful. If you have won a prize you will not be asked to pay or purchase something else in order to claim it. Moreover, you should always insist on getting such instructions via email or writing and then check the authenticity of that. Please spread the word among your family and friends to not fall for such tricks in the future. And please monitor your card for any transactions. If found, block your card immediately.

      Regards.

      Reply